The Duke and The King – Nothing Gold Can Stay [Album Review]

by oz on September 8, 2009

duke and king live

The Duke and The King is the undertaking of Simone Felice (of The Felice Brothers) and his friends Robert Chicken Burke and (Black Jim) Nowell Haskins. The band name comes from the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, the album title from a Robert Frost poem of the same name and the inspiration from a dark, emotionally heavy winter in which Simone lost a baby girl to a miscarriage.

After seeing Simone live with his brothers several times, I expected to hear lyrics full of boozin’, gamblin’, cheatin’ and stealin’, backed by loosely played instruments and booze-drenched raucous energy. To my surprise, what I heard on Nothing Gold Can Stay was quite the opposite. Perhaps a nod to Twain and Frost, The Duke and The King let extraordinary, and very personal songwriting take center stage with a delivery that will appeal to any Cat Stevens fan.

Since I’m an honest guy, I will say that I first thought this album was a snoozer. But I kept listening. I’ve been flying cross country once a month and without thinking about it, would click through my iPod library and land on The Duke and The King – over and over again. It’s one of those albums that seeps into your skin and manifests itself through unintentional humming. If you’re looking for some songs to sample, try If You Ever Get Famous, The Morning I Get To Hell, Water Spider and One More American Song.

MySpace | Ramseur Records

The Duke and The King – If You Ever Get Famous

Video: The Duke and The King – The Morning That I Get To Hell (Kitchen Rehearsal)

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